Marco Verratti is arguably one of the most in demand Paris Saint-Germain players these days, having made a name for himself at the Parc des Princes.
The Italy midfielder has enjoyed a fine four years in the French capital, in which time he has won Ligue 1 in each of his four seasons at the club, on top of the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, two and three times respectively.
Verratti certainly hasn't been short of success at PSG, while the Champions League remains to be the only trophy to elude him.
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And the 23-year-old has already made it clear that he has no intentions of leaving a club that is close to his heart - certainly not before he has won Europe's elite club competition with the Parisians, at least.
But despite reports of a bust-up with Unai Emery, who was appointed in the summer, Verratti has admitted that he rejected the opportunity to Real Madrid - who showed a genuine interest in the summer.
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As per Goal, Verratti said: “It’s not that I technically turned Real Madrid down, it’s that when I am happy in a team, I don’t even want to begin negotiations with another club.
“I learned of Real Madrid interest and that was pleasing, because it doesn’t happen every day that Real Madrid ask after you, but when I’m happy at a side, I don’t want to change. I want to win something with this shirt.”
Champions League ambitions
That something, it is no secret, appears to be the Champions League; which Verratti is so keenly hoping PSG can challenge for this campaign, after falling at the quarter-final stages in each of his four seasons in the competition.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, have won the Champions League in two of the past three seasons.
Not that that will concern PSG, if Los Blancos return again in a bid to tempt him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Verratti signed a new five-year deal with the club just this summer, signalling his intentions to remain in Paris for the foreseeable future.
Room for improvement
The Italy international has already made 12 appearances for PSG this season, but knows his side have some work to do if they are to win their fifth consecutive Ligue 1 title.
Emery's men currently trail league leaders Nice by six points, sitting third, while level on points with AS Monaco.
“I hope PSG win Ligue 1, although it won’t be easy and we must give more." Verratti admitted.
Meanwhile, the 23-year-old is anticipating no surprises and expects each of Europe's major leagues will be won by the title favourites, including backing Pep Guardiola to win the Premier League with Manchester City in his first season in charge.
“Manchester City for the Premier League. They’re not going through the best moment, but I think they are the strongest team," Verratti added.
"In Serie A, Juventus are in a different league. The same goes for the Bundesliga and Bayern Munich."
Was Marco Verratti wise to reject a move to Real Madrid? Have your say in the comment box below.
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